JCU Medical School Offers Medical Degree at Cairns Campus

8 March 2023

James Cook University’s medical program has begun in Cairns, with 39 new students able for the first time to complete all of their medical training in Cairns.

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs said before 2023, the first three years of the six-year degree had to be completed outside of Cairns.

aerial shot of cairns, queensland coastline
JCU’s medical program has expanded to Cairns!

“JCU launched Australia’s first regionally based medical program in 2000 that saw students complete the foundation years of the degree in Townsville, before having the option to move to Cairns or Mackay for their final years of study.

“The expansion to include the full program in Cairns is an important step forward in making medical education available locally, producing a medical workforce for regional, rural and remote communities.”

JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry Dean, Professor Richard Murray said the new program provides access to medical training for students from a diverse range of backgrounds and regions, including applicants who may have previously considered pursuing a medical career unattainable.

The new student cohort commenced their first semester at the end of February and have been supported and welcomed by an academic team led by Associate Professor Julie Mudd, senior students and JCU alumni.

Dr Mudd said the course will make the most of the clinical and research expertise at JCU’s Nguma-bada campus in Smithfield, where the first years will be based.

“It’s the same program and the same curriculum that has been so successful in producing a work-ready medical workforce for regional, rural and remote Australia. The only difference is that hopefully over time, our Cairns cohort will develop a distinctive Cairns flavour that will help to reflect the uniqueness of the region!”

About the JCU Medical Program

One of the world’s leading institutions focusing on the tropics, Australia’s James Cook University is surrounded by the spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the wet tropics, the dry savannahs, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

The JCU School of Medicine is committed to the advancement of tropical medical education and research relevant to the rural and remote communities of northern Australia.

JCU combines integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine, and incorporates the best aspects of student-centred, problem-based learning combined with systematic instruction.

You will graduate from JCU with skills and knowledge in

  • the distinctive needs of northern Australia’s tropical populations;
  • distance and remote delivery of medicine;
  • tropical medicine;
  • medical care in rural hospital and community settings; and
  • medical experiences and facilities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

JCU medical school offers an undergraduate-entry medical program that specializes in rural, remote and indigenous medicine and is located in north Queensland, Australia. Rather than having to earn a bachelor degree first, undergraduate-entry medical programs allow students to enter directly from high school. If you have completed high school studies or would like to apply to a medical school in Australia without using your MCAT score, you may wish to learn more about undergraduate-entry medical programs offered by Australian universities.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
Intake: February
Duration: 6 years

Start your application to JCU medical school!


Would you like to learn more about studying medicine at James Cook University? Contact OzTREKK’s Medicine Admissions Officer at medicine@oztrekk.com for more information.